DCFS proposes new vaccination rules for day care centers

  • The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wants day-care centers to have vaccination policies in place for caregivers.

    The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wants day-care centers to have vaccination policies in place for caregivers. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/6/2015 6:53 PM

The state agency that regulates day-care centers wants each facility in Illinois to have rules about what immunizations its staff must have, a spokesman said.

The proposal comes as health officials work to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened five babies at a Palatine day-care center, with up to 10 more possibly exposed to the disease.

 

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Andrew Flach said it's still unknown how the babies at a Palatine KinderCare Learning Center contracted measles but the idea of requiring day care centers to have vaccination rules has been around since last year.

Now, day care centers aren't required to have vaccination policies in place, Flach said.

Colleen Moran, a spokeswoman for KinderCare Learning Centers, said her company has not had a vaccination policy for staff. KinderCare follows the laws and guidelines for every state in which it operates, and Illinois has not had such a requirement, she said.

However, beginning Monday, KinderCare will begin enforcing a new policy of its own requiring all employees who work with children under age 15 months to show proof of vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella, Moran said.

Within the next month DCFS will issue a guide for day-care centers while it waits for proposed new rules to be approved by lawmakers, Flach said.

"It's unfortunate to see some of our youngest residents dealing with the measles," Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday. "I wish them a fast and full recovery. Measles is one of the most preventable illnesses, and this should be a reminder to ensure your family is vaccinated."

Day-care staff members are required to get a physical exam every two years, including a test for tuberculosis in the first exam. The agency's new rules would require a doctor to tell staff members about vaccinations as part of that exam.

The agency would not require staff members to be vaccinated but only say that day-care centers must have some kind of policy in place.

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